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Confirmed: SERPs Penalty for Link Sellers




Google has finally put things into print (err, HTML). The recent PageRank slap for link selling is just the beginning. Now, they’re going to gun your blog down from the SERPs.

According to the revised Webmaster Help Center, SEJ points us to this official Google statement:

Some SEOs and webmasters engage in the practice of buying and selling links that pass PageRank, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.

Not all paid links violate our guidelines. Buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web when done for advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results. Links purchased for advertising should be designated as such. This can be done in several ways, such as:

* Adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute to the tag
* Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file

Google works hard to ensure that it fully discounts links intended to manipulate search engine results, such excessive link exchanges and purchased links that pass PageRank.

I’ve highlighted the part where Google mentions “selling links” and “can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results“.

So, we’re all sure now that it’s not gonna be just your PR that will be affected but your placements in the search results as well. Anybody remembered the -30 and -90 penalty before. Changes to this statement was first spotted by Blogoscoped.

This Google crusade for paid links is just getting crazier than ever. Brace yourselves for the next storm guys. :) Maybe it’s also time to drop AdSense?



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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14 Responses

  1. Kenneth says:

    Google might think that they already own the internet. Too bad that they’re upcoming competitors are blazing onwards since they’re giving out much focus on these issue. ;-)

  2. Brown Baron says:

    They gave me a nice shiny 0 for having sponsored reviews without nofollow. I’ll fix it and gun for a 7 next time around heh.

  3. deuts says:

    It’s time for a blogger revolution!

  4. AnnaE says:

    Or it’s time to creatively adapt. It doesn’t all have to be either-or, right? We can still build our Google-friendly sites as well as Who’s-Google sites.

  5. charles says:

    wow this is just sad. pretty bad. tsk tsk. I guess we have to follow Big G.

  6. we can do nothing, but follow… Big G is the god of blogging world :P

  7. dexter says:

    I think my site is one of the many that has been penalized by google I have a very low convertion from google searches

  8. marhgil says:

    hmmm. big G is telling us he’s boss :) to follow or not to follow, that is the question.

  9. Elijah says:

    Mixed reactions in that move … some actually agree that it’s for the best and the actual users deserve much better content.

  10. Stentorized says:

    as the beatles sings
    let it be! let it be! let it be!

    well, we really can not do anything about it, for sure.
    the Godfather of the internet mafia almost owns the world wide web…

    but sooner or later its downfall is inevitable.
    just like in the real world…

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